Monday, December 14, 2009

This Dumb Decade: In The Year 2000

Time Magazine recently announced that this decade was the Worst.Decade.Ever. Who cares right? How was 2000-2009 for baseball? Actually it was possibly the worst decade ever for baseball too - steroids, ties in all-star games, Yankees book-ending championships, etc. For the next two weeks we will try to figure out what went wrong. First up: 2000



January 31 - John Rocker is suspended from baseball until May 1 and fined by Bud Selig for his racial and ethnic remarks in an article published in Sports Illustrated the previous month. In case you forgot, he said "The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. I'm not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?", followed by "Imagine having to take the (number) 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're (riding through) Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing." No, YOU'RE depressing. Rocker would be traded by Atlanta in 2001, and be released by Cleveland the year after that, fading into obscurity.






February 10 - The Seattle Mariners accommodate center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., trading him to his hometown Cincinnati Reds in exchange for four players. Cincinnati resisted giving up infielder Pokey Reese. Pokey Reese last appeared in a baseball game in 2004, leaving with a .248 lifetime average.




March 29 - The Chicago Cubs open the major league season in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, by defeating the New York Mets 5-3, in the first big league game ever played outside of North America. Shane Andrews hits the first home run of the decade. Ryan Howard would hit the last one.
March 30 - Everyone's hero Benny Agbayani hits a grand slam in the 10th inning to split the Cubs/Mets Japan series. The suicides with honor are subsequently canceled.




April 3 - Andrés Galarraga hits a home run in his first game back after missing the entire 1999 season following cancer surgery. His nickname is still "The Big Cat". Meow. Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Montréal Expos 10-4, behind Eric Karros' grand slam. Vladimir Guerrero hits a pair of home runs for Montreal as a new major league record for opening day is set with five players having multiple home run games. Nobody says anything.
April 4 - Expos closer Ugueth Urbina strikes out the Dodgers in the top of the ninth inning on nine pitches, tying a major league record. Urbina is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence in his home country after being convicted on two charges of attempted murder.
April 7 - A total of 57 home runs are hit in the 15 games played, for a new major league record. Ignore the man behind the curtain. Also, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays open their home schedule at Tropicana Field on the new FieldTurf artificial surface, the first professional team in any sport to use that material. They lose to the Cleveland Indians, 14-5. That'll happen a lot.
April 9 - The Twins defeat the Royals 13–7. They become the first teams in major league history to each hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the same game. Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones and Matt LeCroy hit consecutive homers for Minnesota in the 6th inning, followed by three in a row by Carlos Beltrán, Jermaine Dye and Mike Sweeney of Kansas City an inning later. Seriously?
April 10 - Colorado beats Cincinnati 7–5, despite Ken Griffey, Jr.'s 400th career home run. At age of 30, Griffey is the youngest player in major league history to reach that milestone. I like his chances at breaking Aaron's record, don't you?
April 11 - The Dodgers edge the San Francisco Giants 6–5 in the first game played at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. Shortstop Kevin Elster hits three home runs. COME ON!
April 15 - Cal Ripken, Jr. gets the 3,000th hit. Ripken goes 3-for-5 in becoming the 24th player to reach the milestone, and the 7th to get 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. On this day I do not pay my taxes for the 17th consecutive year.
April 23 - Yankees Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada each hit home runs from both sides of the plate, marking the first time in major league history that a pair of teammates accomplish the feat in the same game. My tongue is bleeding.




May 11 - At Wrigley Field, the Brewers defeat the Cubs 14–8 in the longest 9-inning game in National League history—4 hours and 22 minutes. Mark Loretta goes 5-for-5 to offset Glenallen Hill's second-inning home run, which lands on the roof of a building on Waveland Avenue, beyond the left field seats. Glenallen Hill was made of steroids.
May 19 - Jason Kendall hits for the cycle. Kendall would go years without homering by the end of the decade.
May 23 - The Mariners' Rickey Henderson draws his 2,000th career walk in the 9th inning, making him the 3rd player to reach that level, behind Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. I completely forgot Rickey played for Seattle.
May 28- Pedro Martinez outduels Roger Clemens as the Red Sox defeat the Yankees 2-0 on a Sunday night game. Wilson, C.J. and myself were in attendance.
May 29- Wilson and I decline to attend the A's/Yankees day game after being tired from the previous night. At that game Randy Velarde of the Oakland A's turns an unassisted triple play, the 11th in baseball history. Oops.




June 1 - Japanese right-hander Tomokazu Ohka becomes the first pitcher in nearly 50 years to throw a nine-inning perfect game in the International League. If a tree falls in a forest...
June 2- Cubs pitcher Rick Aguilera gets his 300th save. When Billy Wagner would do the same in 2008 nobody would give a shit. Devil Rays first baseman Fred McGriff hits his 400th home run in a Devil Rays win. Just kidding, they lost. Duh.
June 21- Eric Chavez hits for the cycle. He tells the team physicians this every single day.
June 29- John Rocker pitches at Shea Stadium for the first time since his incendiary comments. Rocker would earn a save, because he's evil, and evil always wins.
June 30- Trailing 8-1 to the Braves, the Mets score 10 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, capped off by Mike Piazza's 3-run home run off Terry Mulholland. There had been 4 walks in the inning, and 9 of the 10 runs scored were with 2 outs in the inning. Rocker didn't pitch due to a splinter he got from having sex with Satan. This was Fireworks Night at Shea. It was probably the greatest game I've ever been to.





July 1 - On Canada's 133rd birthday, the Marlins' Ryan Dempster of Sechelt, British Columbia and the Expos' Mike Johnson of Edmonton, Alberta hook up in a rare matchup of Canadian starters. Florida defeats Montreal 6–5. Theirs is the first matchup of Canadian-born starters since September 1999, when Dempster took on Éric Gagné of the Dodgers. Oh, Canada.
July 5 - Luis Gonzalez becomes the first Diamondback to hit for the cycle, and the first player to hit for the cycle at Enron Field.
July 8 - The Mets and Yankees play in a day-night doubleheader. The day game was played at Shea. Wilson, Flynn and I were in attendance when Dwight fucking Gooden threw six innings and helped the Yankees to a 4-2 win. We watched the Yankee Stadium hosted night game at Flynn's house when Roger Clemens became a supervillain; he purposely hit Mike Piazza in the head with a pitch. The Yankees also win that game 4-2.
July 11 - The American League wins the All-Star Game. That'll happen a lot.
July 20 - Reds pinch-hitter Mike Bell strikes out in his major league debut, making history by becoming part of the first third-generation family to play for the same major league team. His grandfather Gus Bell and father Buddy Bell also struck out for the Reds.




August 19 - The Yankees beat the Angels 9-1, hitting a major league record-tying three sacrifice flies in the 3rd inning. No joke, just strange.
August 22 - The Dodgers defeat the Expos 14-6, as Eric Karros becomes the first Dodger player to hit two home runs in a single inning. He has terrific hair.
August 27 - Anaheim becomes the first team in AL history to have four players (Troy Glaus, Mo Vaughn, Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon) reach the 30-homer mark in a single season. The Toronto Blue Jays are close with two hitters over 30 and two at 28. ON AUGUST 27TH! (It's been done seven times in the NL.)




September 1 - For the second time in the season, pitcher Ryan Rupe of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays gives up a grand slam to A's outfielder Jermaine Dye. The other slam was on April 26. Ouch.
September 3 - Kenny Lofton of the Cleveland Indians ties a major league record by scoring in his 18th straight game.
September 6 - After reaching an agreement with Morgan, Lewis and Bockis LLP, Major League Baseball can now use the URL http://www.mlb.com. Morgan, Lewis and Bockis registered the domain name in 1994 and refused to release it, making the sport use http://www.majorleaguebaseball.com. In other news, RSS feeds didn't exist yet.
September 10 - Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks becomes the 12th pitcher to strike out 3000 batters in his career. Johnson also records his 300th strikeout for the third consecutive season and the fourth time overall. Jimmy thinks he's ugly.
September 15 - Rickey Henderson moves into second place on the all-time list of runs (2,175), one ahead of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Rickey is humbled.
September 16 - Sammy Sosa becomes the second player to hit 50 or more home runs in three consecutive years, joining Mark McGwire.




October 7- The world's most perfect human being Benny Agbayani homers off of Giants reliever Aaron Fultz in the 13th inning to give the Mets a 2-1 series lead over San Francisco in their division series matchup.
October 8 - Bobby Jones of the New York Mets one-hits the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the NLDS to advance the Mets to the NLCS. He would have thrown the first no-hitter in franchise history, but my mother and I were forced to move one section over before the fifth inning began. As we were making our way to our "correct" seats, Jeff Kent doubled down the left field line. Sorry everybody.
October 16- The Mets clinch the National League pennant, thanks to a Mike Hampton complete game. This is amazing.
October 17- The Yankees clinch the American League pennant, defeating the Seattle Mariners. This would be Alex Rodriguez's final game as a Mariner. In Houston, due to the coverage of the 2000 Presidential Debate, KPRC-TV elected to carry NBC News' coverage of the debate while KNWS-TV, an independent UHF station, carried the game. This was NBC's final baseball broadcast.
October 22- Steroid-fueled mongoloid Roger Clemens throws a broken bat at Mike Piazza during Game 2 of the World Series. After benches clear, Piazza ends the at-bat grounding out. According to Joe Torre's book, Roger Clemens then went into the Yankees clubhouse and cried like a little baby, claiming he didn't mean to do what he did.
October 24- Benny Agbayani hits an RBI double in the 8th inning of Game 3 to end the Yankees absolutely ridiculous 14-game World Series winning streak.
October 26- The New York Yankees win the World Series. Derek Jeter is named MVP. Life isn't fair.





November 18 - The Mariners sign Japanese star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a three-year contract. Dumbasses.




December 11 - The Rangers sign free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez to a record $252 million, 10-year contract. It is the richest contract in the history of professional sports. The phrase "10 years, 10 titles" originates from this signing.

1 comment:

Kithira said...

Go ahead. Erase my comment. I would still like to congratulate you on being able to use copy and paste to take this info directly from Wikipedia's 2000 Major League Baseball season article. At least you added in the pictures all by yourself. Awww...